Saturday, March 6, 2010


            Meet June Parker.  She works for L.A. Rideshare, adores her rent-stabilized apartment in Santa Monica, and struggles with losing a few pesky pounds.
            But June’s life is about to change.
            After a dark turn of events involving Weight Watchers, a chili recipe and a car accident in which her passenger, Marissa, dies, June finds herself in possession of a list, “20 Things to Do By My 25th Birthday.”  Even though they barely knew each other, June is compelled by both guilt and a desire to set things right to finish the list for Marissa.
            The tasks before her range from inspiring (Run a 5K), to daring (Go braless), to near-impossible (Change someone’s life), and as June races to achieve each goal before the deadline, she learns more about her own life than she ever bargained for. 

WOW ! I really liked this book. At first, I thought it was going to be just another light, fluffy novel about a girl trying to change the world all by herself. But I was wrong. I will admit it. That's hard for me to do. But, in this case, I'm glad I was. June is a strong enough person to realize she can't complete these tasks by herself, although she does give it here best shot. What starts off as one single person trying to do these tasks soon snowballs into an adventure that involves her friends, family co-workers, Marissa's family, and a pregnant teenager.

We also get know Marissa although she dies early on in the story. Through her list we get to know what kind of person she was. I felt that she was sweet, kind, and very unselfish. The kind of person we all want in our lives. I don't have any kind of list to follow but I do pray everyday that I can help in some way to brighten someones day. Thank you Jill Smolinski. You've made my day.

Oh, and, by the way, the chili recipe on page 5, is DELICIOUS !

Friday, March 5, 2010

Books Are Like Candy Corn: Free Book: Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show by Frank Delaney

Books Are Like Candy Corn: Free Book: Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show by Frank Delaney is having a fantastic give away . The deadline is midnight March 13th, Hawaiian standard time.
Jo Jo at is having a great audio give away for "Black Hills" by Dan Simmons. This sounds like a great book !

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unspoken by Francine Rivers: Book Cover
Okay, so I am hooked on Francine Rivers' Lineage of Grace series. These books are completely awe inspiring and I have learned so much from each of them. The women of these stories are so important because they are apart of Jesus' genealogy. The latest one that I have read is "Unspoken : The Story of Bathsheba". Ms. Rivers tells how Bathsheba loves David since her childhood, her marriage to Davids trusted friend Uriah, Uriah's death, Bathsheba's marriage to David, and the cloud of shame and guilt they both must live under. If I rated the books I read, this one would rate a full 5 stars ! I think this paragraph sums it up quite well for it brought tears to my eyes :

"I know they will remember my sins, Lord, but when they look upon my life, let them see what You did for an unworthy woman. Let them see the hope from despair. If they must recount my sins, let them count Your blessings more so. You protected me. You raised me up. You gave me sons. Let my name be unspoken, Lord, for what am I that anyone should remember me? But, oh, Lord God of Israel, If they do remember me, let them open their mouths and sing praises for Your great mercy toward me. Let them see Your infinite grace and your boundless love. And let encouraged.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

When I first started reading "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" I expected an awesome or possibly an epic love story. Something that would span the ages and take our emotions to amazing highs and lows. I was not quite awestruck and I felt that it fell short of being epic, therefore I was a bit disappointed and somewhat bored. What I found was a sweet story of a young Chinese-American boy (Henry Lee) and a young Japanese-American girl (Keiko Okabe) who, at the age of twelve, meet at the school where they are the only two Asian kids in an otherwise all white school. Their circumstances bring them closer together and a friendship develops which is fine with Keikos family but does not sit well at all with Henry's father who is harboring ill feelings against the Japanese because of the war between China and Japan. The story takes place  
during World War II in Seattle, Washington when the U.S. government was sending the Japanese to internment camps. 

The author tells the story from the point of view of a grown up Henry Lee as he slowly unfolds the story to his son after Henry's wife Ethyl passes away. Jamie Ford easily makes the story swing back and forth between the past and the present. All in all, even though I felt the story fell a little short of my expectations, I would not hesitate in recommending this book to anyone. I even think it would make a good movie. It's about time we learn more about what was done to our Japanese, and some of our German and Italian, citizens at this point in  United States history.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Book Swapping

Hey ! If your looking for some good book swapping wesites, check out and At Swaptree, you can also swap cd's, dvd's, and games as well. I have saved a lot of money using these two sites.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Heretics Daughter by Kathleen Kent

9780316024488_154X233Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.
Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendent of Martha Carrier. She paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution.

For me, Kathleen Kent's tale of her ancestor brings to life what life was like back in the late 1600's. I am working on my genealogy and have traced some of my ancestry to Massachusetts and Maine. Reading this story has made me wonder what my ancestors were thinking of the witch hunts that were going on. I certainly hope they were not involved in putting any of these innocent people in prison. I did not see any of their names involved in this. Because of her book, I have learned more about this period of time than I have ever learned in school. A friend of mine thinks that times have not changed (and maybe she's right) but I really hope that we are no longer that barbaric. This is why we should all learn more about history so that we don't repeat events such as this one.